10 Common Beginner Mistakes to Avoid in Badminton

Badminton is an intensive and simple sport due to which people are quick to get into the sport but somehow make some mistakes while learning. The basic techniques in badminton should be developed correctly as they will define your game in the long run. 

Badminton requires regular practice and a strong presence of mind to improve your game. As a beginner, you may come across several wrong techniques and mistakes in your practice. Beginners pick up many wrong badminton techniques, and habits that lead to errors and mistakes.  

Some mistakes need to be corrected before going into the next game. So here are a few mistakes you should avoid to improve your game efficiently. 

Wrong Grip 

This is probably the most common mistake you will experience as a beginner. It is a mistake you need to avoid as how you hold your racket will determine the direction of the shuttle.  However, most beginners avoid the correct technique and play with a grip they are comfortable with.

For instance, beginners use the panhandle grip for a forehand grip. The panhandle grip involves holding the grip like a pan, which is required to only play drive shots. 

Another gripping mistake is holding the racket very tight which makes it difficult to change the grip quickly.  It can also lead to wrist and tennis elbow injuries. Therefore, be careful with your gripping pattern.

The basic grips are forehand and backhand grips. So, whether you are a single or doubles player, you need to make sure that your gripping technique is correct.  With practice, you can avoid all these gripping mistakes associated with your game.  Moreover, the intensity of shots depends on the movement of your grip.

If you want to learn in detail about how to hold a racket properly and the different types of grips used in badminton, check out this article.

Incorrect Serve

A service fault is another common mistake you need to avoid. A service fault involves serving from the point above the permitted height which is 1m from the surface of the court. This leads to a fault which makes you lose points. It is applicable for both forehand and backhand serves but this error mostly happens with the backhand serve. 

To get this right, an ample amount of service practice is required which would minimize the chances of losing points in competitive tournaments. 

Check out this article if you want to learn more about the service rules in badminton.

Service Errors

Another serving mistake you should avoid is to not hit a loose serve which could make it easy for your opponent to hit a smash on you. If you are hitting a short serve, it should just be above the net and if you are hitting a high serve, it should be directed well back to the backcourt. These are the elements of a good short and high serve. 

Serving too low might direct the shuttle in the middle of the net which would make you lose points. To overcome these issues, you need to practice regularly with the right technique. 

Poor Reception Of A Serve 

Another common mistake, you need to avoid as a beginner is executing a poor reception of a serve. Most of the beginners find it convenient to just clear the shuttle off their court while receiving a serve.

Well, only clearing the shuttle may cost you a lot. Moreover, your opponent will get an easy chance to execute smashes, which will deprive you of the opportunity to smash or trick your opponent. 

Therefore, keep using different variations in your clears to confuse your opponent. It is better than hitting at one single spot. It is okay to make mistakes while trying variations as you will keep getting better at learning from them. 

If you want to learn how to return a serve properly, check out this article.

Static Play

Whether you are playing singles/doubles, you always need to be on your feet so that it makes it easy to reach the next shot. In singles, you must return to your base position and not stand static at the place where you received the earlier shot. This will make it difficult for you to reach the next shot and you can be caught off balance by your opponent. 

Conversely in doubles, when your partner is doing most of the work in a rally, you should not stand idle. Always be on your feet and wait for your chance at the rally. You should be able to adjust your court position with your partner whenever required.  

Well, this comes with a lot of training and footwork practice. 

Off-balance Smashes 

You should hit a smash only when you are fully ready and have enough time to execute the smash. If you go for a kill while you are off-balance, then you are highly likely to miss it or you will be very vulnerable to counterattack. 

So be patient and extend the rally and wait for the perfect opportunity to win. Even if you are losing, make your opponent work for every point. Well, this error is mostly made by professional players but as a beginner, practice hard and remember to not make such errors in the long run. 

Lack Of Footwork 

Footwork is the key element in singles as well as doubles. If you can start, stop, and change direction quickly according to the direction of the shuttle, you will be at an advantage as you will find the rest of the game easier. 

One mistake every beginner should avoid is randomly moving around the court. This will make it very difficult for you to reach the shuttle at the right time. Use appropriate footwork to move around the court. It takes time to develop but it’s better than doing it the wrong way. 

Practice a few shadow movements in your warm-up which means moving around the court imagining the shuttle at different corners of the court. Concentrate on your movement while doing this as it helps to increase the foot’s coordination. Trust me, your game will surely improve after incorporating footwork training in your everyday practice. 

If you want to master the basic footwork in badminton, check out this article.

Proper Stance 

A player should use a proper stance while serving and even while receiving a serve. Most of the time, people who start playing badminton, stand in a position they are comfortable with. Well, this habit is not good in the long run. 

You must always stand with your non-racket leg forward and racket leg backward with your hands at chest level. This makes it easy to move for the next shot. Moreover, it shows your opponent that you are ready for the game. Standing loose puts a wrong impression on your game.  


As a beginner, there may be several instances in your practice where you may get irritated or frustrated and feel like quitting. Just like any other sport, it takes time and effort to develop your game in badminton.

It is often observed that players get frustrated when they make a mistake during a game. Well, there is no need to get discouraged in such situations because every player, even a professional tends to commit errors during a game.

Move on with the thinking that such mistakes will help you become a better player. Analyze your mistakes and practice hard to overcome them. Remember to keep trying as effective practice will surely give you your desired results.  

Using The Wrong Equipment 

Well, the equipment you use plays a very crucial role in your game. You should choose your equipment according to your expertise and level of play. For instance, a few beginners tend to use outdoor shoes on an indoor court. Well, this not only affects the quality of the court but also your gameplay. 

So, therefore, purchase the right set of rackets and shoes according to your level of play and make sure that they match your skill level. 

If you need some recommendations, check out this article, where we put together a list of the best badminton equipment out there.

Final Thoughts 

It is quite normal for everyone to make mistakes but what matters is learning and moving forward from them. Repeating them will not do you any good.

If you are not getting the desired results, then don’t get disheartened. Normal ups and downs will come during your journey as a player and only focus and determination will help you move forward. 

A perfect technique does not lead to a perfect game, you need to master the basics first and then proceed. Therefore, start focusing on the basics and then proceed to advance techniques. 

If you need 10 great tips to improve your overall badminton game, check out this article.

I hope this article was helpful to you. Thanks for reading!

Anushree Burad

Qualified as an MBA in Sports Management. A Sports fanatic and a passionate badminton player. My passion for sports drove me to foray into sports writing. This is my attempt at translating my thoughts into words. Looking forward to contributing to Sports through my writing.

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